University of Louisville Belknap Connectorladams2020-08-27T17:23:23-04:00
University of Louisville Belknap Connector
Jefferson County, Kentucky
The University of Louisville has an ambitious vision for the 40-acre Belknap Engineering & Applied Sciences Park. The expansive project will improve our nation’s competitiveness through innovation in manufacturing, logistics, renewable energy, computing and digital technology. What’s more, the university will leverage its research functions into an economic engine that will attract high-wage jobs and, in a span of ten years, add as much as $1 billion in tax revenue for the region and for Kentucky.
The ambition for the Belknap Engineering & Applied Sciences Park is grand, yet the site had many complex and limiting characteristics. The property had very limited and unsafe access for any mode of transportation—it required a new connector road. The Belknap Connector provided multimodal access to the property.
The University of Louisville Belknap Engineering & Applied Sciences Park will be transformative for the university and a flagship location for innovation in Kentucky. The Belknap Connector was one of the first steps taken to make it happen.
The three primary elements of the $25 million project include:
a mile of new road with safe, multi-modal transportation for bikes, cars, and pedestrians,
two railroad flyover bridges made of brick and limestone that will provide an attractive backdrop for businesses and for university researchers at the park, and
embellished streetscapes for existing roads.
One distinctive engineering challenge was the need to build twin railroad flyover bridges with heavy, high-end brick and limestone finishes in order to maintain the high architectural standards for the University of Louisville. Given that the site rests on contaminated soil with poor carrying capacity, it was difficult to accomplish this without excessive time and cost. To solve the problem, we used a unique two-phase construction strategy to build the bridge on schedule and without unnecessary expense.
We provided civil and structural engineering, survey, and construction inspection services for the mile-long corridor through campus. We coordinated the work of architects and geotechnical engineers to develop its unique and highly detailed aesthetic, including finishes using specialty pavement and custom designed brick and limestone facades.